Longhorns lose nail-biter to Lady Raiders


Elisabeth Dillon

Ashleigh Fontenette scored 11 points in Texas’ loss to the Red Raiders.

Stefan Scrafield

The No. 21 Texas Tech Lady Raiders (15-5, 3-5 Big 12) ended a five-game losing streak with a dramatic, 75-71, victory over the Longhorns (13-7, 3-5 Big 12) in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon.

After senior Ashleigh Fontenette's free throws made it 71-70 and gave Texas just its second lead of the game with only 48 seconds left on the clock, Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle took matters into her own hands. On the very next possession, Barncastle came up with a huge offensive rebound and turned it into a 3-point play to give the Lady Raiders the lead for good.

“I'm really proud of Jordan [Barncastle] and the team,” said Texas Tech head coach Kristy Curry. “She was just really aggressive. For [Barncastle] to do what she did on the boards, which I'm always on her about, says a whole bunch. It was just a great effort from her today.”

Texas guard Chassidy Fussell, who had a team-high 19 points, had a chance to take the lead from the corner but her 3-point attempt hit the side of the backboard with just nine seconds left, sealing the victory for the Lady Raiders.

Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors was disappointed in her team's effort as a whole.

“It looked like we weren't ready to play,” Goestenkors said. “Tech came right at us and we were just lazy and fouled and turned the ball over. So, something has to give, something has to change. Because when we start off games like this we lose.”

Yet again, Texas struggled in the early stages of the game.

The Lady Raiders jumped out to a quick 15-point lead with just over eight minutes to go in the first half and were able to control the tempo the rest of the way.

“It was very frustrating,” said Goestenkors. “We've got to make a change. We've got to find a different way because this is about the fourth game that we have started off and had either zero or two points at the first media time-out. Tech was very ready to play, and I give them a lot of credit.”

The Longhorns made a run and got themselves back into the game in the second half, but were unable to get ahead and pull away.

“We were attacking, pushing the ball in transition and making good reads,” Goestenkors said. “But they were more determined. Even when we were making our run it was like they would never let us get that lead.”

Texas, who hasn't lost back-to-back games since the first week of January, will look to bounce back against the Kansas State Wildcats (14-6, 5-3 Big 12) at the Frank Erwin Center on Wednesday.